Aki and I are about as far away from Juneau as a person can get without boarding a plane or a boat. This fact is more descriptive of the limited Juneau road system than our adventurous spirit. We are at the end of the road.
I just stashed the snowshoes I had been carrying. They are not needed thanks to all the other walkers who compacted the trail snow with their boots. Two miles ahead is the Cowee Meadows cabin. Most of the winter trail users target that cabin or the Blue Mussel cabin on Pt. Bridget.
We leave the main trail and follow a small stream that winds towards a huge beaver pond. Thanks to our recent stretch of cold weather, the swampy land drained by the stream offers easy passage for the little dog and I. Soon, if the weatherman is to believed, warm, wet weather will make it impassible.
We’ve seen moose and bear on the meadow but no animals appear. We pass a beaver house, and negotiate a series of beaver dams before returning to the main trail. I stop often to listen for bird song but hear only ravens. The sun, which had been trapped all day behind clouds, breaks through to light up the irregular shaped peaks that circle the meadow. We push on to a rocky beach that offers open views of Berner’s Bay and Lynn Canal. A small raft of harlequin ducks have the water to themselves.